New to the country life


In the Brooder
Dec 26, 2015
Bought a acerage and We are wanting to have some chickens I can build pretty much anything we have a family of 5 what are some of th e basics I will need. We live in Alberta Canada so we do have some cold winter months. What would be a god sized coop and out side area for the chickens?


Flock Master
8 Years
Jan 10, 2013
so glad to have you join us and congrats on your plans to get your own flock.

You should explore the Learning Center articles and the Coops Forums to help you get started and many of your questions will be answered there.

To decide on coop size you will need to decide on what breeds and how large a flock you want. And on their purpose - fun, eggs, meat. And on whether their will be free range access or mostly confinement - especially in your winters.

I would also suggest you search for others in your area under the "where are you, where am I" forums for folks near to you - they can give you specific advice on best breeds and coop essentials for your climate.

Regarding coop size - Minimum is 4 sq ft in the coop and 10 sq ft in the run for each chicken. But you should plan on building larger than the minimum - that's the #1 Wish of nearly everyone starting out, even here in Georgia where our winters are quite mild.

Feel free to ask questions, we're here to help.


Rest in Peace 1980-2020
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
Welcome to BYC
x2 on the Learning Center. There are articles on everything from picking a breed, housing them, to keeping them healthy. With a family of 5, depending on how much you guys like eggs, I'd keep a minimum of 6-8 good egglayers. Note that some breeds lay VERY well, others not so much. Some breeds are great "dual purpose" breeds too, i.e. good layers that make good table birds, if you're willing to process them for meat. Good luck with your adventure and if you have any questions, shoot them over.

Michael OShay

5 Years
May 14, 2014
Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to join our flock. I'm your neighbor from the state just south of you, Montana. Alaska Backyard Chickens has a good article on breeds recommended for Alaska at If these breeds can handle Alaska's brutal winters they should be able to handle Alberta's winters as well. I would personally suggest Black Sex Links (mentioned in the last paragraph) as they are very friendly and hardy egg laying machines that will consistently churn out more than 300 large brown eggs per hen per year and are particularly persistent in laying in very cold winter weather. Sunflour and sumi have given you some good advice. If you haven't done so already, definitely check out our Learning Center at There is lots of useful information there. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Cheers.

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Aug 26, 2009
Out to pasture
PS there is a very good thread called "Jest Another Day in Pear A Dice," started by Canuck Buck, a very nice, woman (Tara), she has chickens, ducks, geese, swans, sheep, aussie cattle dogs etc. Very knowledgeable and helpful. She lives in Alberta,

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